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Bound for Delhi from Agra
Me, turning to the woman in the seat across the aisle: "I'm sorry that I don't speak Dutch, but would you like some walnuts?"
"Oh! I'm sorry. I thought that because of the CH sound --"
"Yes, we have the CH sound, too."
"I speak Hebrew, which also has a CH sound."
Anyhow, she doesn't want any walnuts, and I turn back to the package and scoop them into my yogurt sheepishly.
Pat returns from the bathroom and then I find a hair-ball in the walnut-package; Pat tries to soothe me that it must just be felt from the conveyer belt in the walnut factory, and then, sternly, "Sarah, rally!"
Very quietly, I tell Pat about the ignorant interchange I've just had, and Pat says, "When you said, 'I don't speak Dutch,' she should have said, 'Neither do I!'"
We burst into laughter. I don't want the women -- her friend has also now returned from the bathroom -- to think that we're laughing at them and so I turn to her with all the humility my face can express and tell her Pat's quip. She laughs and then explains what happened to her friend, who smiles.
I say, "I'm so embarrassed. I was trying to be sophisticated."
"I'm sure you are sophisticated, says the friend generously.
"Yeah, somewhere," chimes in Pat and we laugh some more.
"We're not the sort of Americans," I need to tell them, "who think it's fine that everyone speaks English."
"You wouldn't be travelling if you were," says the friend.